The combined age of the top three Democrat leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives is 247.
America is 246 years old. Let that sink in.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is 82. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is 83. And House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) is 82.
And from what we know a week after the 2022 midterm elections, none of them have any intention of leaving office any time soon (after all, they all just won new two-year terms).
But Democrats are trailing in the battle to hold control of the House. Republicans have won 211 seats compared to Democrats’ 206, with 218 needed for a majority in the 435-seat chamber.
“There are still some 18 outstanding House races, including 13 considered closely competitive, according to a Reuters compilation of the leading nonpartisan forecasters. Ten of the remaining contests were in liberal-leaning California,” Reuters reported.
If the GOP takes control, Pelosi will be out as Speaker and the others will lose leadership roles. At 82 — with a maximum net wealth of as much as $251 million, according to USA Today — Pelosi could just walk away and retire to a life of luxury.
But the Speaker’s fortune has grown $140 million since 2008, thanks in part to her husband’s stock trades, and she’s made clear that she’s not going anywhere.
“There are all kinds of ways to exert influence. The speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
“My decision will then be rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus. But none of it will be very much considered until we see the outcome of all of this,” Pelosi told CNN.
The question must be asked: Why not live out your final years in peace and quiet, away from the contentious political struggles and intraparty backbiting inside the Capitol?
One answer is simple: Lying in state.
Politicians are not known for their humility. The hubris permeates even the Supreme Court. Take Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She had battled cancer and health issues for years, and in her mid-80s, Democrats implored her to step down so that President Barack Obama could nominate her replacement.
She didn’t, and she died in September 2020. President Donald Trump quickly nominated her replacement, Amy Coney Barrett, who was approved by the GOP-controlled Senate before Democrats took control just eight days later.
Ginsberg lay “in repose” at the Supreme Court for two days as thousands of mourners lined up to walk past the casket. She then lay in state at the Capitol and was buried beside her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.
That’s what many politicians want: They crave a lengthy lovefest even after they die — and it’s not solely Democrats; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) orchestrated his own weeklong set of somber remembrances before his death in 2018.
The dinosaur situation is the same in the Senate. Democrat Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is 71. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is 77. Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA) is 72. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairman of the Policy and Communications Committee, is 72. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), vice chairman of the conference, is 73. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), chairman of outreach, is 81.
None of them have plans to hand over the reins to a younger generation. In fact, Pelosi over the weekend urged President Joe Biden, who turns 80 later this month, to run for re-election in 2024, saying “he has accomplished so much.”
“President Biden has been a great president for our country,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Over 10 million jobs under his leadership. Working with the private sector, of course. He has just done so many things that are so great. … He has been a great president and he has a great record to run on.”
So the dinosaurs are here to stay — at least on the Democrat side of the aisle. A frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is just 44 years old with three young children.
We didn’t get the Red Wave on Election Day. But let’s hope for a Youth Wave next time.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.